The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) with funding from the UK Government, on Monday launched the Hospital Safety Index and Green Checklist training course.This initiative is aimed at equipping participants with skills to ensure that health facilities remain safe and can provide healthcare even after natural disasters. The 25 participants, who include Engineers, Analysts, Information Technologist, Health Economists, and Quality Controllers, will undergo four days of training.British High Commissioner to Guyana, Gregory Quinn told the gathering at Cara Lodge that the launch of the initiative is part of the wider programme of Her Majesty’s Government/Pan American Health Organisation (HMG/PAHO) geared at strengthening health facilitiesBritish High Commissioner to Guyana Gregory Quinnwithin the Caribbean.He used the opportunity to reaffirm the UK’s support to the health sector in Guyana and the Caribbean at large: “This support is designed to ensure that health facilities are able to cope with disasters and climate risks.”The programme is part of a wider US$53 million project on strengthening Caribbean Health Facilities, which was announced by former British Prime Minister David Cameron, during his visit to the region last September. “It is a solid commitment to the Guyana Government by the British Government,” he asserted.Quinn noted that while health facilities provide essential services for daily life, it is vital that they remain in operation after extreme events.This, he said, is what the overall programme of assistance is designed to do. The High Commissioner related that the support announced by the former Prime Minister is set to significantly improve resilience across the health sector in seven Caribbean countries, including Guyana.He said those who benefit from the training will be able to assess facilities on the basis of safety and greening.“It is the first time in Guyana such an evaluation would have taken place on this scale. Those assessments produced would allow us to decide which of the facilities we would retrofit to improve their resilience to natural disasters. The knowledge gained in this training could also be relevant to other sectors. Assessment of resilience should not only be limited to those related to health. They will be better placed to identify future risks and needs, improving essential service delivery at all times,” Quinn said.Minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr Karen Cummings, said the phase two project is a timely initiative as the Ministry of Health continues to seek to deliver Universal Health Care in every region across Guyana. She said government has been seeking to narrow the inequalities between the Coastland and the Hinterland.“The initiative seeks to improve the infrastructure of healthcare facilities to make them infrastructurally sound, energy efficient and to have a comfortable work environment for persons to work and seek care. The low cost adaptive measure will also make the facilities disaster-ready,” she said.Permanent Secretary of the Health Ministry Trevor Thomas said Guyana is a very big country relative to its population and noted that the majority of persons are living on the coastlands, “yet we have a responsibility of providing adequate healthcare to the remotest areas and we should ensure that our facilities have the capacity to deliver healthcare.”He said in an environment where there is no access to a power grid, to areas where electricity is not provided economically, such facilitiesParticipants and other invitees at the opening of the training at Cara Lodge on Mondayshould be made available.Meanwhile, PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr William Adu-Krow said while the organisation is only retrofitting some health agencies, the government should follow suit and do the same, it should retrofit all health institutions and have the new ones built as smart health institutions.